Shawn Harris Captures Blush and Snoop Dogg in Broad Strokes
Published June 24, 2011
Drawing inspiration from the kind of early ’80s animation you’ll remember from The Electric Company and Sesame Street, Shawn Harris rendered members of the pan-Asian pop group Blush (and a very special friend) in animated form—and all on his iPad. The iPad Brushes app (the same one Jorge Colombo used on his iPhone for his famous New Yorker cover) was the sole medium Harris used to create the music video for Blush’s single “Undivided,” which features Snoop Dogg on guest vocals.
A pair of vibrant magenta lips flash onscreen throughout the video, complemented by neon hues in the background, presumably all meant to symbolize the song’s seductive message of empowerment. Snoop appears in a patchwork of pastel-colored strokes, decked out in cartoon bling and star-shaped shades, while the five girls of the band dance in multicolored silhouette over his shoulder. Tokens of girly glitz and pop paraphernalia scatter and disappear, transitioning frame to frame. Bubbly strips of rainbow collide, twist and blend into one another, creating a vivid explosion of cartoon color to the rhythm of the song.
Harris’s creation isn’t just the first music video made with the app—it’s the first video, period. “The Brushes application isn’t designed specifically for animation,” Harris explains, “but if you can manage to be deliberate enough to record each brush-stroke as a separate frame, it lends itself to a very organic-feeling style of stop-motion finger-painting.” Calling the method “an exposed process,” Harris revealed that each frame is composed of one painting, painted over and over itself—a grand sum of 7,000 finger-painted strokes.
Produced by Darrell Brown, the track reflects the attitude, vibe, and persona of Blush’s five members—a kind of updated Asian Spice Girls who have already opened for Justin Bieber on their home continent. As an entrée into the American consciousness, Victoria (“Queen V”), Natsuko (“Nacho”), Angeli, Ji Ha (“Tiger”) and Alisha (“Lil Ali”) have kicked off their newfound spot on the pop scene with flying colors—literally.
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